Saturday, October 28, 2006

The language of war gets a makeover - Christian Science Monitor

David Seaton's News Links
Americans have probably taken the art of the euphemism higher than any other people in the history of humanity. Plain speech is as or more horrible for us than it is even for the Japanese. DS

Abstract: "Stay the course" was a presidential favorite until it began to sound a little absurd, and now it has been withdrawn from the verbal fray. Another White House favorite, "tactical," is still in the running, but it is hard to say for how long. At a news conference last month, President Bush said, "The enemy is changing tactics, and we're adapting." Last week, White House spokesman Tony Snow engaged in a long back-and-forth with reporters who were arguing that "strategic" might be more appropriate for the large-scale changes apparently being contemplated. "So what we're talking about they describe as strategy, I'll describe as tactics," Mr. Snow said resolutely. Some words no longer taboo are "milestones," "benchmarks," and "phased withdrawal." It would be hard to decree otherwise at a time when the administration is reportedly drafting a timetable for the Iraqi government to address sectarian strife and to assume a larger role in assuring security for the country. It appears that the Iraqi government will be asked to meet a schedule of specific timetables for disarming the sectarian militias. If these benchmarks are not met, then there may be a reassessment of - you guessed it - strategy. READ MORE

No comments: